You Should Go And Love Yourself: Igniting the Internal Community

By perksconsulting |

In our first post in this series, we learned the basics of Brand Love—why it’s important, what it looks like, and how some notable brands came to acquire it. Now, as we ride this vessel deeper into the Tunnel ‘O Brand Love, we must begin to look within. In actual, person-to-person relationships, self-love is one of the most important cornerstones of a healthy partnership. If you’re not confident with who you are inside, it doesn’t matter if your significant other is a perfect glowing angel from on high—the whole operation stands on shaky ground. A lack of self-love can lead to obsession, mistrust, jealousy, power struggles, and sundry other toxic byproducts. On the other hand, a relationship based on trust and respect, where all parties are comfortable with their contributions and confident in a shared future…well that’s just beautiful!

All these real-world ideas apply to your brand, only we’re not just telling YOU to love yourself; we’re talking about your internal team. The idea is to foster a genuine love for the brand across the entire org. If this sounds idealistic, that’s because it is. But it’s also vital.

If You Fake It, You Won’t Make It If you don’t love your own brand, why should your customers? Because you asked nicely? Sorry, but that’s not going to cut it. Customers can see right through any attempt to manufacture excitement for your company. If you want to create Brand Love externally, you can’t settle for Brand Like (or, heaven forbid, Brand Meh) internally.

But, if you have a team of happy, engaged employees that are passionate about their shared goals, that energy will shine brighter than any by-the-numbers marketing initiative. If your team possesses a mutual understanding of your customers’ needs, wants, habits & behaviors, and is confident in the org’s plan to satisfy them, internal processes can be organized and scaled with much greater ease. And, most importantly, if you foster an engaged, purpose-driven workforce, they can become your brand’s best early champions and ambassadors.

Get On the Same Page The first step toward that inner love is to align your team in a shared vision for the brand, as well as the establishment of clarity and consistency. Everyone on board should be able to answer questions like these (with enthusiasm!):

  • What is our mission?
  • What is our value proposition? How will we deliver on our promise to customers?
  • Who is our target audience? What do they need?
  • Who are our competitors? How are we a different and better choice than them?
  • What is our flagship product/service?

These answers can be provided to every new employee in a brand brief. This document will capture your promise to your customers and your strategy for keeping it. And if you and other leaders are also unclear about that promise, here’s a helpful exercise: Have each employee create their own brand brief. Then analyze the results, find the overlapping aspirations, and commit to them. This method of collectively defining a mission also creates a happy side-effect: it helps your team members feel a sense of ownership over the brand.

The Internal Community In Effect If you’ve ever been in love, you know how hard it is to keep it to yourself. A new relationship makes you want to shout from the rooftops, so everyone around you can know just how wonderful you feel. The same goes for engaged employees at an exciting new job. In the early stages of brand building for your company, your team is the most valuable and effective marketing asset you have. Give them reasons to shout about their new gig. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Encourage fun events, gatherings, and photo ops; they’re sure to be shared on social media.
  • Enable recruitment via employee referrals; they’ll likely bring like-minded and equally passionate folks on board (and referral bonuses are an awesome incentive).
  • Promote the submission of honest feedback on corporate review sites like Glassdoor; the transparency builds trust internally, and a reputation as a superior workplace can gain you brownie points from customers too!

Keep in mind, you don’t always have to offer crazy perks to foster a shared affinity and identity with your brand. Just value and recognize your people and you’re off to a fantastic start.

Now that your brand has done the necessary soul searching, built up confidence, and ignited the internal community, it’s time to get out there and meet your match. In the next installment of our Brand Love series, we’ll talk about finding your external community—from casual fans to hardcore lifers. Until then, peace and (brand) love, friends.

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